Don’t speed—or at least keep it to a minimum
John Roman Images/shutterstock You can keep yourself and your loved ones safe—not to mention the people you’re sharing the road with—by simply observing the speed limit. Slowing down makes a lot of sense—speeding is the number two cause of motor vehicle accidents. (Distracted driving is number one, drunk driving comes in third.)
That said, as a general matter you can probably drive a few miles per hour above the speed limit without attracting the attention of police officers, according to every police officer we spoke to—including retired Police Captain Michael Palardy (Millburn, NJ). If the only thing you’re doing wrong is driving a few miles per hour over the speed limit, says Harold Hilliard, retired Plano, Texas police officer, you’ll probably be fine.
However, if you do get pulled over, all it takes is going one mile per hour faster than the posted speed limit to get a ticket, says insurance advisor, Bradley Hamburger. And if you try to fight it in traffic court, it’ll be up to you to prove that you weren’t going even a single mile per hour over the speed limit.
Slow down near schools
Tonktiti/shutterstock When you’re driving in a school safety zone (as indicated by street signs), always stick to the exact speed limit, say our veteran cops. Not only is it a matter of basic decency and common sense, it’s a safe bet that police officers are keeping a sharp eye on the safety of those roads. The same is true for residential neighborhoods, particularly during the school-day. One more time you should obey the letter of the law: When there’s a speed camera. Not sure where they are or what they look like? You can find apps that will warn you of the cameras’ presence. Check out these 11 driving etiquette rules you probably forgot since Driver’s Ed.